How We Started
WAIF was initially started by two friends. They had met at the same introductory course when joining a wildlife care group. A few months later one of them (me) was given two tiny, furry baby ringtail possums to raise. Both of these were victims of separate cat attacks. One had already been named Hope by her rescuer, an experienced wildlife carer. This was because she knew that the only thing which could save her was hope. Baby ringtails die from the tiniest cat scratch and antibiotics also kill them. Well, obviously the second one was named Faith (pictured above).
Both could sit comfortably in my husband’s hand or perch on his fingertips. They quickly became friends (called ‘buddies’) which helped them adjust to the loss of their mothers and siblings (ringtails normally have twins). Two days later tragedy struck and Hope went into convulsions, held in Mark’s hands she died. Two weeks was the outside limit given for death from cat attack. Thirteen days after her arrival Faith lay dead on the bottom of her cage.
Heartbroken I began to search for answers but very little information or help was available. Very few TAFE or University level courses are offered. There is little between the introductory courses given by wildlife care groups and a veterinary degree. And as for research! Well – ‘no money in wildlife research’ so no work to prevent tragedies like this one.
Chris and I dreamed of winning lotto so we could start a vet clinic, fund research and publish answers. The only problem was that we didn’t buy lotto tickets so we had a problem winning. We started anyway with help from a wide range of friends and supporters. Now WAIF is a full charity, with tax deductible status and well on the way. We have a fully detailed research project plan to develop solutions for baby ringtails but it is very expensive and to date we haven’t been able to fund it, but with help from all of you we will. Hope and Faith didn’t make it, we intend that Charity will.